Should Tottenham play so many pre-season friendlies?

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Image: SpursWeb

Pre season is a vital period of time for a team, especially with a team that is continuing to adapt to a new manager. New players will have to step up their already high work rates to please Pochettino. Working at higher rates could tire out a team, especially when the team needs to be at their best.

For example, during February of 2015, Spurs played 5 matches in the month, with three being in the Premier League, and two being in the Europa League. Spurs only won 1 match during the month, the heart stopping match against Arsenal. 2 draws, one against West Ham, and the other against Fiorentina. The losses came against Liverpool and Fiorentina in the away leg, a very disappointing 2-0 loss.

Picking up only 4 points during a month is disappointing to say the least, with Tottenham always trying to fight for a top 4 spot in the league. The main contributor to the form in my opinion is the amount of matches played. Tottenham played many matches last season, going far into the Europa League, and reaching the final in the Capital One Cup. With that amount of matches played, any team should be fatigued. But with that amount of matches during the season, should Tottenham play so many pre season friendlies?

Tottenham toured North America  to play the Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, and the Chicago Fire. Then played Celtic and Schalke. That’s 5 games within three weeks, plus traveling to the States and back certainly take a toll on the team. And that workload so early on in the season could be a potential killer.
Now to this season. Tottenham has already played friendlies against Brentford and Reading. Then they travel to the U.S. to play the MLS All-Stars on July 29th. Then they travel to play in the Audi Cup in Germany on the 4th of August. Playing teams like Real Madrid, F.C. Bayern, and A.C. Milan will be big tests for Spurs, especially if they want to take the competition seriously.

Playing games like that in rapid succession, in my opinion, is not helpful whatsoever. While I am looking forward to those games, I wish Tottenham would tone it down on the friendlies from now on. I feel like going for a top 4 spot is the most important task for Poch this season, and he can’t reach it with a fatigued squad.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. depends what team lines out…..lot of e.p.l.teams play pre season frendlies in Ireland only have 3 first team players rest youths and reserves………money spinners

  2. Do you honestly think going for a top four spot is Botch's most important task?

    Surely a task is something which can be done?

    His main and, indeed only, task must be to organise the squad into a team whereby the sum of the whole is, at the very, least equal to the sum of the individuals. That's using the whole squad. Not the 1/2 he currently likes.

    No more lamentations selections. No more predictable tactics. No more idiotic prioritisations.

  3. You can't compare playing 5 games pre-season to playing 5 games in February, besides which, 5 games per month is pretty standard anyway.
    Two completely different XI's will play in Germany, though we should never have accepted the offer to participate in something so close to the start of the season.
    Brentford & Reading games were behind closed doors, under a lot less pressure and featured a mixture of first XI and academy players.

  4. You're forgetting other behind closed doors matches against Rangers and Southen, but I digress. The players need friendlies to regain/discover fitness and get to new team-mates. As mentioned above, five matches in the season is different as they are played with a more settled team, whereas these line-ups will be chopped and changed. The closeness of the Audi Cup to that first game at United is the bigger issue, although we need to test ourselves against the bigger clubs if that is where we attain to be.

  5. you're right about February, but not sure I agree about pre-season. the matches played so far have been fairly low key with lots of subs, and the games to come will be more competitive. maybe this will make them 'battle hardened ' going into the first game. we shall see

  6. This has all the hallmarks of an article that has been written for the sake of something to write, rather than it being "thought out".

    You really ought to try to understand that it's a by-product of the teams relative success that we play so many fixtures. Yoiu also need to be able to recognise the difference between practice friendlies, which are mainly academy players, and competitive friendlies, which are mainly first team games with loads of subs.

    This year we are committed to just two of the latter, and in addition, we don't have to qualify for the EL, so already there is a substantial reduction on last season. You also need to be aware that most of the top clubs players play two games a week nearly every week throughout the season. Spurs are currently committed to playing at least 26 games by new years day. In addition there are also five international fixtures. Notwithstanding injuries, or a run in the Capital One Cup, most of the team will have played 31 games by Dec 31st.

    Putting February into perspective. Two of the games involved fielding weakened teams, and Liverpool did not have an easy victory. Five games in 28 days is a game every 5.6 days. 31 games by Dec 31st is a one game every 4.7 days. So we were actually taking it easy by comparison.

    But something I would like to see your input about regarding the number of games we are likely to play, is as follows. So far, I am yet to be convinced that the new players brought in will make the difference to CL qualification, and in my opinion, the EL is probably our best hope of a CL spot. So should we go for the 15 games that is needed to win the EL, or should we make our usual challenge for 4th place in which case we will probably finish 5th/6th again.

  7. The team were tired towards the end of the season as Poch relied on the same 13-14 players. He couldnt trust the players who he is now getting rid of. This season it seems he will have a squad he trusts (once we sign two strikers!) So he will rotate more. Just like he has in the preseason games. Would you like going into the league season without knowing if Onomah, Alli, Winks etc are capable of being trusted? Games tell you more than training sessions do and I thinkwe are preparing well.

  8. They can cope as most of the players will only play one half of each game. Only concern is not to get anyone injured during the process

  9. If you listen to anyone who knows or has played high level footy, they will tell you that it is all about gaining fitness at this stage in pre-season, and getting as many playing minutes under your belt before the season starts is very important. Of course they need to be playing these games.

    What a silly article.

    • The Author seems not to know the difference between being unfit and "burnout". You can be fit, but mentally burned out. People talk about Kane getting burned out, but that is some way off at present, because he is enjoying what he is doing and having fun. It's when it ceases to be fun and becomes a "job" that burnout occurs. It's a mental thing and not a physical thing and has a lot to do with both personal and team success.

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